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Internet Companies Go Dark to Protest Anti-Piracy Bill; Frantic Exchange Between Ship Captain and Coast Guard; Salvaging the Costa Concordia; Yahoo! Co-Found Steps Down As Chairman

Aired January 18, 2012 - 00:08:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong.

And we begin with an online blackout. Wikipedia and other major Internet companies go dark to protest a U.S. anti-piracy bill.

New information about the cruise liner that ran aground suggests that this is not the first time the ship came dangerously close to an island.

And we go inside a town under siege in Syria. A rare, close-up look at people inside Syria venting their anger at the government.

The Internet is a darker place this hour. Several well-known Web sites are blacked out to protest anti-piracy laws proposed by the U.S. Congress. Now, critics called the bills called SOPA and PIPA -- would ruin the Internet as we know it, but the protest is missing some of tech's biggest names.

Google has not entirely shut down its site, though it put up a black bar to show its solidarity. And while Facebook and Twitter both signed an open letter opposing the bills, the Web site is taking place in this online protest.

On its English home page, Wikipedia warns the proposed laws could end access to free knowledge. And Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales says he supports fighting piracy, but these bills are not the way.


JIMMY WALES, WIKIPEDIA FOUNDER: The right way to fix it is to not place censorship on the Internet, not to force Google to stop listing them, not to force Wikipedia to stop talking about them. The right answer is follow the money.

If you've got large-scale piracy going on, it's the same as any other trade dispute. And I think that's the right approach.


STOUT: The Senate is set to vote on PIPA, or Protect International Property Act, next week. And one lawmaker says the House resumes work on SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act -- that will resume in February.

The House Judiciary Committee has listed more than 100 companies as supporters of SOPA, and here are just a few. And you can see that they range from music and media companies, including CNN's parent company, Time Warner, to credit card and cosmetic companies, to professional sports leagues and worker unions.

The SOPA split is most evident in California. Dan Simon examines the divisions between Hollywood and Silicon Valley.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thousands of people this very minute are downloading pirated videos from overseas Web sites. Movies still in the theaters like "War Horse" can be watched on a computer screen for free, depriving the film industry of millions of dollars.

With Web sites like operating in Europe, the U.S. has no authority to shut them down. That has prompted Capitol Hill legislation known as SOPA, Stop Online Piracy Act, in the House and PIPA, Protect Intellectual Property Act, in the Senate.

The bills, as now written, would require that Internet providers in the U.S. block the offending sites. Media companies like CNN's parent firm, Time Warner, are among those supporting the bill.

CHRIS DODD, CHAIRMAN, MOTION PICTURE ASSN. OF AMERICA: Illegal conduct is not free speech. Illegal conduct is what it is. It's stealing. And that's what's at the heart of this legislative effort.

SIMON: Former senator Chris Dodd heads up the Motion Picture Association and is a huge backer of the legislation.

DODD: This bill is exclusively focused on the foreign criminal elements that are stealing.

SIMON: The bills would give Washington unprecedented authority in regulating content.

DECLAN MCCULLAGH, CNET REPORTER: Think of it as a black list. And this is something we haven't seen before in the history of the Internet, sort of a black list bill. What would happen is that copyright holders in the U.S. Department of Justice would come up with this list and then, with a court order, serve this on Internet search providers.

SIMON: Search engines such as Google also would be banned from displaying the sites. And advertisers, as well as payment processors like PayPal, could do know business with them either. Collectively, Silicon Valley has said no go. Not because they want piracy, but don't feel they should be the Internet police, and are hurling words like "censorship" at the legislation.

David Ulevitch runs a successful Internet security company which gives its customers the tools to block Web sites in their own homes or businesses.

DAVID ULEVITCH, OPENDNS CEO: We've never wanted to be in a position to try to be the editorial directors, and we certainly don't think the government is probably the right people to get in that position either.


STOUT: So how would SOPA and PIPA work? Well, Dan mentioned The Pirate Bay. Now, it's hard for U.S. companies to fight overseas sites like that and make them take down copyrighted work, so SOPA would stop U.S. companies from providing their services to those sites. And that means that Google will not be allowed to show flagged sites in their search results, and payment processors like eBay's PayPal could not transmit funds to them. Now, they could get penalized if they do not comply, and these are Web sites used around the world.

The White House recognizes global implications when it opposed the legislation.

Turning now to significant new developments involving the wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia off Italy's western coast. The shipping newspaper "Lloyd's List" is reporting that Friday was not the first time the vessel had passed dangerously close to shore off Giglio Island.

Now, take a look at this map. The red line is the route that the liner took when it ran aground on Friday, right here. But Lloyd's says this blue line, it tracks a previous path in August of last year. It shows that the ship traveled within 230 meters of the coast of the island on August the 13th. And this is actually closer to the shore than the location of Friday's accident.

Costa has blamed the captain for deviating from the normal route. It says, "The vessel appears to have been too close to the shore." The company has not mentioned whether similar passes were recorded in the past.

And the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, is under house arrest at his family home near Naples, and audio has emerged of his frantic conversation with Coast Guard officials just after Friday's accident.

Matthew Chance takes us through it.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As passengers tried to escape the stricken Costa Concordia, shocking exchanges have emerged between a frustrated Italian Coast Guard and a captain now accused of abandoning his ship. An astonished Coast Guard questions why he left his ship in the first place while his passengers still languished on board.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): And with 100 people on board you abandon the ship? (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

CAPT. FRANCESCO SCHETTINO, COSTA CONCORDIA (through translator): I did not abandon my ship with 100 people. The ship skidded. We were catapulted into the water.

CHANCE: Regardless, the Coast Guard demands the captain returns to the ship to find (ph) the women and children still on board.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You go on board! It is an order! You cannot make any other evaluations. You have declared abandoning ship. Now I'm in charge.

You get on board! Is it clear?

SCHETTINO: Commandant --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you not listening to me?

SCHETTINO: I'm going.

CHANCE: But amid the chaos, the captain, now facing charges of manslaughter and abandoning his duties, never returned from his lifeboat. He may find that hard to explain.

Matthew Chance, CNN, London.


STOUT: Now, for the latest on the search effort, let's bring in Senior International Correspondent Dan Rivers, who's been monitoring this story from Giglio, Italy.

And Dan, search has been suspended, but at this point, how much hope is there of finding any more survivors?

DAN RIVERS, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the reality is it's pretty slim, Kristie, yes. As you say, the search has been suspended again from 8:00 this morning after they detected the wreck of the Costa Concordia shifting again in the sea. They've started to push off even more booms behind me in case the worst-case scenario, the fuel oil starts leaking out. And they are now approaching the vessel again with small boats, but we've got no word yet that they have resumed the search inside with divers.

Meanwhile, we've been talking to relatives of those missing, including one man, Kevin Rebello, whose brother Russel was a waiter on board the ship, a 33-year-old Indian national who hasn't been heard of since the disaster. Kevin says he's determined to stay here until he gets some news.


RIVERS: Are you beginning to come to terms with the possibility though that he may not have made it?

KEVIN REBELLO, BROTHER OF CREW MEMBER: It's too early to say that. It's only five days, and everything is possible. Miracles do happen, and let's keep hope.

That's the only thing I can at the moment, because I'm not here to lose help. I've come all the way over here. It's because I have hope in him, and I know something definitely positive will come out of this.


RIVERS: Well, Russel Rebello, that waiter was last seen towards the stern of the ship helping passengers off into life rafts, and he hasn't been heard of since -- Kristie.

STOUT: Family members, they want news, they want answers. They also want accountability. And more details are coming to light about the ship's captain.

There is so much attention on him, Dan, but I wanted to ask you, could others potentially share responsibility for the crash with him?

RIVERS: Potentially, yes, although ultimately, legally, I think in Italian law he bears responsibility for the fate of that vessel. But whether others will also be indicted for their part in all this is a possibility, although we were told repeatedly that he was on the bridge at the time they did this sort of showboating sail-by, and therefore, he was in command. He presumably took the decision to deviate from the plotted course.

So, you know, whether they decide to indict sort of second officers or not, we'll have to wait and see. But certainly, we were told he was up on the bridge when this happened and it was his decision to deviate from the course that they had mapped out in advance.

STOUT: I also wanted to ask you, Dan, about the salvage work ahead. What is the risk of a major fuel leak? And could there be a scene of an environmental disaster behind you?

RIVERS: I think, sadly, that is a very real prospect. I mean, you can see how beautifully calm it is here today and has been, thankfully, for the past few days. But all it's going to take is one winter storm here, and this wreck could become really destabilized. It's why they're taking no chances.

I don't know if that -- I can step out of the way. You can see they've started putting booms up in front of this little bay that we're in at the moment to try and prevent any leaking oil from coming ashore. And they're doing that all the way around this section of coastline.

The waters here are really pristine and famous for marine wildlife. People come here to dive and go scuba diving and so on. So they're desperate to try and keep this island as pristine as it is.

Amazingly, so far, there's been no leakage at all, apparently, of any of the 2,300 tons of fuel aboard the wreck. But as I say, they've been blessed with very benign weather. If that changes, well, this could become really an environmental catastrophe, as well as a human one.

STOUT: All right. Dan Rivers, thank you for keeping an eye on the situation there for us.

Dan Rivers, joining us live from Giglio Island.

Now, attention is also turning to what will happen to the ship once the search operation is over. As CNN's Brian Todd reports, it will be a long process to remove the floating skyscraper.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It lies there as a stark symbol of tragedy. Getting that image removed from the consciousness of victims and nearby residents means getting the Costa Concordia physically removed. That job will likely start at a place like this.

FRANK LECKEY, SALVAGE MASTER, RESOLVE MARINE GROUP: Basically, that's the hot tap. This is the drill for the hot tap. It's got a magnet on the bottom. When the diver goes down, puts it on the hull.

TODD: The hot tap, used for siphoning fuel from the hulls of disabled vessels, part of an impressive menu of heavy equipment deployed by the Resolve Marine Group, one of the top ship salvage operations in the U.S.

(on camera): How big a challenge would this be for you guys?

BOB UMBDENSTOCK, DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, RESOLVE MARINE GROUP: It would be as big a challenge as we've ever faced, I think.

TODD (voice-over): Bob Umbdenstock is director of planning at Resolve. He and this firm have been salvaging, sinking and scrapping ships for decades. They've re-floated a cruise ship so it could operate again, sunk an aircraft carrier to turn it into a reef, and pulled the wreckage of the ValuJet plane from the Everglades following a horrific 1996 crash.

UMBDENSTOCK: This boat's on the outside of the hull.

TODD: As we patrol Port Everglades Harbor, Umbdenstock and his colleagues shows us the kinds of tankers and cruise ships they routinely work on. I ask salvage engineer Joseph Farrell what the options are for the Costa Concordia.

JOSEPH FARRELL, SALVAGE ENGINEER, RESOLVE MARINE GROUP: The best option for everybody would be to get it off in one piece, which would be a re- float.

TODD: That, he says, would first mean pumping fuel and water out of the vessel to make it buoyant, then a process called parbuckling, attaching massive stanchions to the ship as leverage and pulling it upright. Then huge tugs could haul the Concordia away to possibly be repaired. But salvage teams first have to assess whether it can be repaired.

(on camera): The experts at Resolve say just making the initial assessment might take several days. They say the salvage teams have to get in there, find out where everything is, where the dangers are, and then maybe determine what they can do with that vessel. One expert said you might equate it to walking around someone else's living room in the dark.

(voice-over): These experts say if the cost of salvage plus repair is more than the insured value of the ship, another option is cutting the vessel up into pieces.

FARRELL: Basically a combination of chain-cutting, which is where you actually wrap a large chain around the hull and you put all that tension on it. And the chain literally tears the metal apart. And then in certain places you'll have to go and maybe use explosive.

TODD: Farrell says they could remove the Concordia and sink it to turn it into a reef, but that wouldn't make any money for the cruise line. Repairing it for reuse or cutting it up to sell the metal and other parts, they say, could recoup some of the money lost.

Whether it's decided to salvage or scrap the Costa Concordia, the experts at Resolve Marine Group say it's not going to be a quick or cheap job. They say it will take months to complete and possibly cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a day.

Brian Todd, CNN, Port Everglades, Florida.


STOUT: Coming up on NEWS STREAM, "Give me justice! Give me my rights!" One protester screams from the streets of Syria. And CNN gets a rare inside look at a small town under siege in the country.

And children in South Korea are being pushed to the edge because of bullying. We'll take a look at just how bad life can be for a teenager who feels he has no way out.


STOUT: Now, in Syria, the violence is continuing, and so are the protests. Opposition groups say at least 30 people were killed across the country on Tuesday. That, despite the presence of Arab League observers who have been in Syria since the end of December. Their mandate is set to expire on Thursday, but there are reports that Syria could allow them to extend their mission.

Meanwhile, President Bashar al-Assad has rejected calls for foreign troops to become involved, saying the government would confront any attempt to undermine Syria's sovereignty.

Outside journalists have been mostly barred from reporting inside Syria since the uprising began early last year, but some reporters, including our Nic Robertson, were recently allowed inside the country and have been traveling with the Arab League monitors. Nic reports now from yet another town under siege where tempers are boiling.



NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the Arab League monitors arrive --


ROBERTSON: -- so anti-government protesters emerge from side streets and shuttered stores. A raucous band of 100 or so besieging them with complaints of government brutality. This mother shouts at them, "They killed my son, kept him in the morgue for a month! I plead to God and to you, give me justice, give me my rights!"

This is Kisweh, a small port town about half an hour's drive from the capital. Away from the protests, this man tells us why there are so few demonstrators. "This is a small town, 15,000 people," he says. "It's isolated. The army can surround us in five minutes."

He asked me why no one is here. "Five hundred men ran away, others were arrested. The army has 13 checkpoints," he says.

We can't count them, but just down the street we see this --

(on camera): You can get some idea of how tight security is here. One checkpoint, another one here, a third one over here. And down here, another checkpoint, sandbag bunkers over at the side of the road, four army checkpoints to control this one small traffic intersection. That's how tight security is.

(voice-over): Impossible to verify everything we hear.

(on camera): What's really interesting here, this is a bullet hole we're told was a shot fired by the army down the streets at the protesters. But if you look at the other side of the box here, you can see the exit where the bullet came out, but you can also see these small pepper marks, shotgun marks. They look like shotgun pellet marks, and it gives the impression that the protesters down here were firing back, shotgun rounds fired back at the soldiers up the street.

(voice-over): What is clear today is that tempers are frayed. This is a town on edge. A man is caught by the crowd. They turn on him with a vengeance.

(on camera): They're accusing that man of being a policeman. They've literally chased him down the streets. For a minute there it looked like it was going to be mob justice. People were jumping on him. But it does seem as if he's been able to get away and run off down the street. They said he was a policeman.

(voice-over): The writing on the wall, a cry for help from a town where they say no one is listening.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Kisweh, Syria.


STOUT: Coming up on NEWS STREAM, the school playground -- memories of games like basketball, football and tag. But for many in South Korea, it is the scene of some terrible bullying. We speak to one victim amid rising concerns in the country.


STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching NEWS STREAM.

Now, South Korea's Education Ministry is stepping up measures to stop violence in the country's schools following a series of student suicides. It has announced some five million middle and high school students will be surveyed to determine if they have witnessed bullying, and the results will be shared with police.

But even as authorities announce the move, "The Korea Times" reported that a 14-year-old student had forced a classmate to sign a slavery contract, and the article says that the note called for the victim to crawl on all fours, weeping at the whim of the bully. And they beat him if he refused to do it.

While shocking, this is just one case in many. And Paula Hancocks finds out just how hard life can be for Korean teenagers targeted by bullies.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Park Han- Wool has been bullied at school from the age of 12. Now 17, he still doesn't know how to stop it.

He tells me, "I've been punched in the face, which affected my eyesight. I've been slapped, I have a scar on my mouth from one beating. Someone stole my things and sold them, and I've been locked in classrooms and not allowed to go home."

Park told his parents, but they didn't take it seriously. He told the school, but says they wanted to keep it quiet.

Things became so bad, he even tried to kill himself. He says, "I tried to jump from the fourth floor of the counseling center at school in front of the teachers, but the police came and stopped me. I came back home and just stayed in my room in the dark. I was in a state of panic."

(on camera): His story is not that unusual here in South Korea. A 2010 survey done by the Foundation for Preventing Youth Violence found that more than 20 percent of those questioned had been bullied. Thirty percent among those say they had felt suicidal because of it. The same foundation says that initial figures for 2011 show the number of students seeking help for suicidal feelings has doubled.

(voice-over): Counselors blame part of this increase on the intense competitiveness of South Korean society and education from a very young age. One psychologist tells me, "At school, students don't see their peers as friends, but as competition, and believe that they need to beat them to get ahead. Students who are good in their studies can immerse themselves in that, but those who are not might try to bully or control someone else." Counselors want to see more team sports and less focus on individual success above all else.

Park has found an outlet for his pain, making a music video about school bullying in conjunction with a local band. He wants the problem to be heavily publicized and a zero tolerance attitude taken by schools in the hope others won't have to suffer in silence as he has for the past six years.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


STOUT: Now, the kind of suffering that Park described in that report is not exclusive to South Korea. Bullying is a global problem. It could ruin the lives of its victims.

And CNN is committed to brining the issue into the spotlight. Take a listen to just a small part of our recent special, "Bullying: It Stops Here."


ROSALIND WISEMAN, AUTHOR AND EDUCATOR: The thing that we have to consistently say to people is degrading people is never right. And it always comes down to you're be degrading by race, you're being degraded by socioeconomic status, by class, not having as much money as somebody else, from where your come from, from your sexual orientation, or your perceived sexual orientation. It always comes down to that.


STOUT: Now, as part of that special, CNN's "ANDERSON COOPER 360" partnered with sociologists at the University of California Davis, and they surveyed 800 students, and these are just a few of their findings.

Forty-two percent of students had harassed one or more of their schoolmates, and eight out of 10 aggressive incidents were not reported to adults. Almost a quarter of the students surveyed said that they had spread rumors or ostracized a peer. One in 10 said that they had committed cyberbullying.

And asked about prevention, students offered up a mix of hope and resignation -- 27.5 percent thought that there was nothing that could really help the problem, but 35.5 percent said schools could help.

It's been almost one year since a tsunami and nuclear disaster devastated Japan, but now new technology may be able to ease some of the radiation fears that continue to plague many.

And Mitt Romney is continuing to feel the heat over his personal fortune. The latest from the Republican nomination race after the break.


LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.

Now a new report suggests Friday was not the first time the Costa Condordia sailed dangerously close to Italy's Giglio coastline. The shipping Lloyd's List says a similar pass was recorded in August of last year. Now Costa has not commented on the claims, but the company blamed the captain for Friday's accident, saying he steered the vessel too close to the shore.

Now two leading aid organizations say thousands of lives were needlessly lost in the Horn of Africa last year, because the international community reacted too slowly to warnings of a looming famine. Oxfam and Save the Children say governments and aid agencies need to take action to make sure this doesn't happen again.

And what's happening with Wikipedia? Well, it's one of several web sites either blacked out or using other forms of protest to blast anti- piracy bills being considered by the U.S. congress. Now critics say that they are written too broadly and could amount to censorship. Media companies, including CNN's parent company Time Warner support the legislation.

In Japan, many continue to live in fear of the radiation levels around them ten months after massive quake and tsunami triggered a nuclear disaster. But now, for a price, one center in Tokyo has new technology that could possibly ease those worries in a matter of minutes. Kyung Lah has more.


KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, there's been a lot of concern here in Japan about exactly how much radiation has been in the air, how much radiation is in the ground, for example in food like produce as well as beef. And up until very recently there's been no quick way for the general population to check how much internal exposure to radiation they have received.

But now there is some technology which this company, at least, is hoping will become available to the general population. So in just a few minutes you can check to see how much radiation is inside of you.

This one checks your thyroid.

So for five minutes I have to sit here and an electric beam will measure whether or not there's any high level of radioactivity in my thyroid.

And then this machine over here will test your entire body for radiation.

Now the idea with these machines is to make them portable, to get them to the community that lives closest to the nuclear plant to give them some sort of peace of mind.

YASUP SAEKI, JAPAN THIRD PARTY CO. LTD (through translator): What we didn't do in the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island accidents was accumulate radiation contamination data. So we can't prove the impact of radiation exposure in children's diseases that occurred in the aftermath.

By accumulating external and internal radiation exposure data, this could be the base for medical studies of radiation exposure. And Japan could play the leading role in radiological medicine.

LAH: After all this testing, my levels of radiation are normal, but I don't live near the nuclear facility. Right now this isn't a free venture, you have to pay about $200 if you live in the Tokyo are to get tested. They will cut that about in half if you can say you live in the Fukushima region.

If you're wondering where all of this technology comes from? It was originally developed in Belarus, which is affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.


LU STOUT: All right. Time now for your global weather forecast with a focus on deadly floods in Peru. Let's go to Mari Ramos for that -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hi. I think South American really getting hard hit now by some very heavy rain. We have the flooding, of course, in Colombia that has been ongoing. Very heavy rain also across parts of Brazil. But now this time it's Peru the one that's getting very heavy rainfall.

Let's go ahead and take a look at the pictures that we have. Very dramatic stuff. You start off, first of all, we've seen some rivers that have overflowed their banks, people using their boats to navigate through the streets to try to find their missing loved ones.

And then, of course, as you head to the mountains, the problem is the landslides. The rain has been extremely heavy over the last couple of weeks. There were some weather warnings in the last few weeks for these areas because of the heavy rainfall and now the landslides are starting to affect the area. You can see the water there gushing through what used to be a roadway, making it extremely difficult not only for the survivors to find safe shelter, but also for rescue personnel to move through some of these areas.

Look at that, that person just walking there along the side you see just a drop-off right there on the side, just very dangerous conditions. And unfortunately any amount of rain that falls here, Kristie, will be of concern.

We haven't seen the rain as heavy in the last 24 hours as it was before, but like I said any amount of rain that falls across these areas -- and these two locations that we showed you are both on this eastern side of the Andes, so basically in the more wet parts of Peru where they tend to see extremely heavy rainfall this time of year. So be extra careful with that. We're still seeing some problems with that.

I'm also a little bit concerned about the amount of rain expected across northern parts of Bolivia. We could see the possibility for some flooding and mudslides also into some of those areas. So definitely something else to look at.

Let's go ahead and move on, and I want to take you to Europe and talk a little bit about the weather situation here where this -- where the Costa Condordia is located.

That's the location of the ship. These are just two observation sites that are nearby. We don't have an actual weather observation on Giglio Island. So that makes things a little bit difficult. But, you know, temperatures are expected to be actually on the rise today and tomorrow, but then after that we should see temperatures coming down just a little bit.

The other thing, Kristie, that we're going to be looking at here is an increase in cloud cover, possibly some rainfall moving in as we head into late on Thursday and Friday and another thing of concern will be visibility. In some cases, we could see the visibility down to less than 50 meters, which is very concerning and of course very dangerous for anyone doing any kind of work, especially in the early morning hours is where the visibility should be a problem.

We are expecting some rain showers Thursday night and into Friday. But I don't think these are going to be too big of a concern, I think the main concern will be the increase in the wind. We could see the winds up to 40 kilometers per hour again as the next weather system comes through. And of course that could make that very unstable situation with the ship. We could see it clipping. We could see higher waves. And that, of course, is something that rescue personnel will have to look at very, very carefully.

Let's go ahead and check out your forecast now.

There is a whole lot more where this came from, Kristie. You're looking at pictures from Seattle, Washington on Tuesday. Well, the snow is beginning again after tapering off just a little bit in the overnight hours. They are looking at round two of a big weather system that have been moving through that area.

Come back over to the weather map over here. Let me show you what's going on. A couple of things, look at that, all of that snow, even all the way down to Seattle which Seattle can get a lot of rain, but normally they don't get too much snowfall. And it's very concerning because you have very steep hills there. They don't have a lot of snow plows. So the city is pretty much coming to a standstill. School will be closing early today. We're going to see a lot of problems.

It looks absolutely beautiful, though, just can't get around.

This picture is sent by our iReporter Kyle. And it looks like a beautiful winter wonderland. But you've got to realize how much snow is coming down. Normally they get about 15 centimeters of snow per year. Well, they're going to get about all of that in just a period of 24 hours coming up between today and tomorrow. So it's not going to be that pretty. Back to you.

LU STOUT: Wow. That amount of snow in the Pacific Northwest. It's pretty incredible. Mari, thanks for sharing that with us and take care. Mari Ramos there.

Now Yahoo! Co-founder Jerry Yang, he has left the struggling Silicon Valley internet company. He resigned from the board of directors and all other positions he held at Yahoo! he held on Tuesday. And that resignation also applies to his board positions at Yahoo! Japan and Ali Baba.

Now Yang, he co-founded Yahoo! with David Filo back in 1995. And he served as CEO from June 2007 to January 2009. But he became something of a lightning rod for a lot of trouble that Yahoo! found itself in. Now he stepped down as CEO after standing in the way of that 2008 buyout bid by Microsoft. That offered valued Yahoo! at $47.5 billion. And his snub did not go down well with shareholders.

Now once upon a time Yahoo! was the dominant search engine, but it has continued to lose ground to Google now the industry giant. And Yahoo! has also lost ad market revenue to Facebook. And its critics accuse the company of failing to innovate or follow market trends.


RICHARD LAI, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ENGADGET CHINA: Earlier last year in August they launched their first ever sort of Yahoo! centric Android smartphone. So it's a little bit late for Yahoo! to enter the mobile market properly this time. So that's probably one of the reasons why, or one of the many reasons why people aren't too happy with Jerry, which is that Yahoo! is being a bit slow with catching up with the demands of the market.


LU STOUT: So perhaps it is unsurprising that the company's shareholders seem to think that Jerry Yang's departure is a good move. They want to put some of the company's assets up for sale, something Yang reportedly opposed.

Now Yahoo! has been in talks with Ali Baba in China and South Bank (ph) in Japan.

Now meanwhile, Yahoo! is one of many tech giants that will launch one of the biggest changes to the internet, IPV 6. It is designed to solve a fundamental problem with the underlying architecture of the internet -- we're basically running out of IP addresses.

Now the internet uses IP addresses the same way the postal service uses your home address to deliver your mail. And the IP address tells the internet where to deliver data. And every device you own that can go online is assigned an IP address. And given that everything from computers to tablets to televisions to video game consoles, even printers can all go online, it's no surprise that we're running out of addresses.

Now in June 6, Google, Yahoo! and other major internet companies will launch IPV 6. And it's a new system that offers a virtually infinite number of IP addresses.

Now how many? Well, 340 trillion, trillion, trillion, that is 34 followed by 37 zeros. So hopefully this time we won't run out of addresses.

Now ahead here on News Stream, just how rich is Mitt Romney? U.S. Republican frontrunner talks about his tax bill, but his critics demand more detail.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now Myanmar democracy icon Aung Sang Suu Kyi is officially a candidate for parliamentary elections in April. She was greeted with cheers and applause as she registered on Wednesday. Now Suu Kyi was under house arrest when her party, the National League for Democracy, won the 1990 election by a landslide. The military Hunta rejected those results, but the generals are now loosening their grip on the country after coming under criticism for their human rights record.

Now in the U.S. the frontrunner in the Republican presidential campaign is facing more pressure over his personal fortune and corporate past. Now Mitt Romney now says he will release his tax records, but not until April.

Jim Acosta looks at the impact the issue is having on his campaign.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After weeks of sending mixed signals over whether he would ever release his tax records, Mitt Romney peeled back the curtain over his personal fortune just a touch.

MITT ROMENY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What's the effective rate I've been paying? It's probably closer to the 15 percent rate that I think is my last 10 years I've -- my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past.

ACOSTA: Romney, who has an estimated net worth of up to a quarter billion dollars effectively acknowledged his 15 percent tax rate is lower than what many middle class families pay. It's actually closer to what billionaires like Warren Buffet pay, a fact that won't be lost on the president whose own tax rate by the way is roughly 26 percent.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Right now, Warren Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, an outrage he has asked us to fix.

ACOSTA: Newt Gingrich who has vowed to release his own tax records this week called on Romney to do the same before Saturdays' primary.

NEWT GINGRICH, REPUBLCIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, what he saying to the people of South Carolina? You're not important enough for me to release my income taxes.

ACOSTA: Romney is also taking hits from Rick Santorum whose new ad argues the former Massachusetts governor is just like the president.

ANNOUNCER: Obama gave us radical Obamacare that was based on Romneycare.

ACOSTA: It was a counterattack to his pro-Romney Super PAC ad on Santorum.

ANNOUNCER: And he even voted to let convicted felons vote.

ACOSTA: Santorum accused Romney of dirty politics.

RICK SANTORUM, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We don't need someone who supports lies and promotes lies and stands behind those lies in order to get elected president.

ACOSTA: Romney's response? What's the big deal?

ROMNEY: I hear that Rick Santorum is very animated that the Super PAC ad says that he's in favor of felons voting. Well, he is.

ACOSTA: He insisted he would get rid of Super PACs if he could.

Isn't it convenient now to say that you'd like to do away with Super PACs after the damage has been done to several of your rivals?

ROMNEY: And to me? Have you not noticed that the Super PACs have gone after me and the campaigns have gone after me? That's the nature...

ACOSTA: Romney also defended his claim that Monday's debate that he help create 120,000 jobs at his investment firm Bain Capital, that's more than the 100,000 jobs he's touted in the past.

ROMNEY: They weren't businesses I ran, but we invested in, ended up today having some 120,000 jobs.

ACOSTA: Romney got testy when asked about the new figure.

ROMNEY: Four companies created 120,000 jobs. OK. Just get it -- it's very simple.

ACOSTA: As for those tax records, Mitt Romney did say he will release his 2011 returns in April. But by then he may have already wrapped up the GOP nomination. That is if he survives South Carolina first.

Jim Acosta, CNN, Florence, South Carolina.


LU STOUT: Go to our web site to find out more where all the candidates for the Republican nomination stand ahead of the South Carolina primary. And don't forget to join us this week for the CNN southern Republican presidential debate. We'll have live coverage from Charleston, South Carolina. That's Friday 9:00 in the morning in Hong Kong. 1:00 in London. And we'll be there as voters go to the polls in South Carolina on Saturday. It's all part of our America's Choice 2012 coverage right here on CNN.

Now Pakistan's prime minister is set to face the supreme court on Thursday. It is the latest battle for Yousuf Raza Gilani. And a Pakistani government official says the U.S. special envoy has been asked not to visit during this stormy time.

Now Reza Sayah looks at the odds of a military coup.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pakistan is facing its most severe crisis in years. The civilian government, the military, the judiciary are all butting heads, all of this against the backdrop of a broken economy, widespread poverty and a bloody fight against Islamist militants.

In times of crisis here the army, the country's most powerful institution, has overthrown the civilian government. And that's why rumors of a coup are swirling again. But analysts say there are five reasons why this time the army won't take over.

Reason number one, the people won't support an army takeover. After a history of failed or ineffective military dictators, most recently General Pervez Musharraf, many say the army is not the answer to Pakistan's problems.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of the Pakistanis, they are all of them are against the military coup. All of them are in favor of democracy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Army is not the answer. Plus, it's not their job to run a country.

SAYAH: Reason number two, the news media is watching. Pakistan has a remarkably free and fiery news media. Dozens of 24 hour news networks that hound politicians and hold screaming debates about Pakistani politics. If there's a coup, analysts say, the army will be answerable to the media.

Reason number three, the judiciary is watching. In previous coups the army has strong armed Pakistan's supreme court in to supporting takeovers. But analysts say Pakistan's current supreme court will not back down from a clash with the army.

IMTIAZ GUL, POLITICAL ANALYST: It's a different Pakistan. It has redefined itself with a supreme court being very, very assertive, very, very clear on the issue of illegal, unconstitutional takeovers of the government. I don't see any possibility whatsoever of a direct military intervention.

SAYAH: Reason number four, Pakistan's allies won't support a coup. U.S.-Pakistani relations are at an all-time low, but Washington still holds influence over Pakistan. Analysts say the U.S. would view an army takeover as destabilizing to the region and a threat to the fragile peace process in Afghanistan.

Reason number five, the army has better options than a coup. The supreme court is getting closer to taking action against the civilian government for failing to reopen old corruption charges against President Asif Ali Zardari. The supreme court is also investigating if the government was behind a secret memo to Washington calling on the U.S. to help curb the army's powers.

Analysts say any supreme court ruling against the government would leave it too weak to hold on to power and could bring early elections. And then instead of a coup, the army could let the people decide the fate of this government.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Islamabad.


LU STOUT: Now still to come on News Stream Barcelona and Real Madrid are preparing to lock horns later tonight. We look ahead to the first El Clasico of the year.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now day three of the Australian Open saw Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal advance to round three. Pedro Pinto joins us from London with more - - Pedro.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. Roger Federer, who has won the Aussie Open four times, was given a free ride on Wednesday as his opponent Andreas Beck withdrew with an injury.

As far as Rafael Nadal is concerned, he had to earn his place in the next round. He took on former world number two Tommy Haas and had to be on court for two-and-a-half hours before dispatching the German veteran in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, and 6-4. The 2009 champion wore heavy tapping on his right knee, but didn't seem to be affected by the injury he suffered earlier this week.

On a day which saw eight seed Mardy Fish knocked out, 2009 Aussie Open quarterfinalist Juan Martine Del Potro showed off his improvisation skills in a victory over Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic. Watch the big Argentine track a lob down and then hit the behind the legs shot which led to a winner. Del Potro looking good as he moved on to round three.

Worth another look, Del Potro with the amazing shot.

On the women's side of the tournament, top seed Caroline Wozniacki registered a straight set win over Georgia's Anna Tatishvili. After breezing through the first set, the Dane was down 4-1 in the second, but recovered well to go through 6-1, 7-6. Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, and Kim Cljisters also won on Wednesday.

Football fans around the world are looking forward to the year's first Clasico. Real Madrid and Barcelona clash later on Wednesday in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey quarterfinals. Real hosts Barca looking to get a rare win over their rivals. Los Blancos have won only one of the last 12 matches between both sides. That victory coming in the final of this competition last season.

For Pep Guardiola, it's always a challenge to take on Real, whether it's in the final or quarterfinals of the competition. He's actually turning 41-years-old today. So he looks to get a win over Real as a birthday gift.

Well, injuries have been a theme in the NBA so far this season. The shortened campaign means teams are constantly on the court and the players are paying the price. The likes of Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, and Dwayne Wade were all on the sidelines on Tuesday night.

Wade missed Miami's clash with the San Antonio Spurs because of an ankle injury. The Heat star turned 30 and celebrated the occasion by watching his teammates beat San Antonio at home.

The Spurs, who had the lead in the first half. The visitors lead by as many as 14 at the break, but Miami reacted in a big way in the third quarter. They went on a 17-0 run and outscored their opponents 39-12.

LeBron James had a lot to do with that. He simply took over. Finished the ball game with 33 points and 10 assists. Chris Bosh had a big offensive night as well, 30 points for the power forward including this impressive move to the rim.

The Heat blow out the Spurs in South Beach 120-98, snapping a three game losing streak.

And that is a quick look at sports for this hour. Kristie, back to you in Hong Kong.

LU STOUT: Pedro, thank you.

And before we go, just one last thing. Earlier we told you that you can't access Wikipedia. The site is putting up this black out page to proposed U.S. anti-piracy bill, except you can still access Wikipedia with one small trick. You just go to the site as normal, and you load the page and you hit the escape key. You have about half a second between the page loading before Wikipedia will bring up the blackout message.

Now it's probably not in the spirit of Wikipedia's blackout day, but if you really need to access the site, that's what you need to do, hit escape.

That is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.